Frederik Van Lierde

What metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) should I track to measure the success and progress of my startup?

Understanding and tracking the right metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential for any startup that aims for success and scalability. These metrics provide a pulse on the health of your business and can offer valuable insights into areas for improvement and growth. Here's a guide on the fundamental metrics and KPIs every startup should monitor What metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) should I track to measure the success and progress of my startup?

Financial Metrics

  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): For subscription-based startups, MRR tracks the total predictable revenue that a company can expect every month.
  • Churn Rate: Measures the percentage of customers or subscribers who stop using your product or service over a certain time frame.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Calculates the average cost your startup incurs to acquire a new customer.
  • Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV): Estimates the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer throughout their relationship.
  • LTV:CAC Ratio: Compares the lifetime value of a customer to the cost of acquiring them. A ratio greater than 3:1 is often considered healthy.

Operational Metrics

  • Burn Rate: Indicates how much money you are spending each month more than you’re bringing in. It’s crucial to know how long you can run your business with your current funds.
  • Runway: Tells you how many months you can operate before running out of money, given your current burn rate.
  • Customer Support Tickets: The number of support tickets or customer complaints can offer insights into product/service improvements.

Growth & Engagement Metrics

  • Daily Active Users (DAU) / Monthly Active Users (MAU): For platforms and apps, these metrics show how many users are actively engaging with your product on a daily or monthly basis.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Gauges customer satisfaction and loyalty by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others.
  • Customer Retention Rate: Measures the percentage of customers you manage to retain over a specified period.
  • Activation Rate: Represents the percentage of users taking a specific action (e.g., signing up, making a purchase) that indicates they find value in your product.

Marketing and Sales Metrics

  • Lead Conversion Rate: Assesses the efficiency of your sales funnel by determining the percentage of leads that turn into paying customers.
  • Traffic Sources: Identifies which marketing channels are driving the most traffic to your website.
  • Email Open and Click-through Rates: Measures the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.

Product Metrics

  • Feature Adoption Rate: Shows how many users are using a particular feature of your product.
  • Product Usage: Measures how often and to what extent customers use your product.
  • Bug and Issue Tracking: Monitors the number and severity of product issues reported.


Selecting the right metrics and KPIs for your startup depends largely on the nature of your business, your goals, and your industry. However, the above-listed metrics provide a foundational understanding for most startups. It's essential to regularly revisit and adjust these metrics as your startup evolves. After all, a startup's path to success is rarely linear, but with the right data in hand, you can navigate its twists and turns more confidently.